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Monday, September 3, 2007

Abbas announces new electoral law to exclude Hamas


Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas said on Sunday that his office has published an amended electoral law that could effectively exclude Hamas from any future polls.

"The new election law has been published," Abbas told reporters
during a joint press conference with visiting EU foreign policy
chief Javier Solana.

On August 15, Abbas's office said the president was mulling changing the law to require candidates in presidential and legislative elections "to respect the political program of the PLO" and to respect all previous agreements signed by the Palestinian Authority.

The amended text also said all parliamentary candidates will be chosen according to party lists. Previously, half of those standing for the legislature were chosen in single constituencies. Such a requirement makes it easier for candidates from Abbas's Fatah party to run in the Gaza Strip, which has been under the control of Hamas since June.

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